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On March 8, in honor of International Women’s Day, AFIRE community members and leaders met with the Consulate General of the Philippines in Chicago to express concerns regarding the policies and actions being implemented by the current Presidential administration that bear serious implications on the security and safety of the immigrant community in the country.
With the Consul General D.G. Calonge and Deputy Consul General Romulo Israel, the community leaders also shared their concerns about the lack of enforcement of workplace protections specific for the domestic workers amidst the mainstream labor policies in place.
The Consulate General shared that they are providing services to Filipino nationals to help them with immigration procedures, including legal assistance to those who have work-related issues with their employers. They explained, however, that as an extension of the Philippine government here in the United States, they are subjected to the laws of the country, and therefore can only function with limited roles. They reassured, on the other hand, that they will do what they can to ensure the safety and security of Filipino immigrants in Chicago regardless of immigration status.
Christine Sumog-oy, community organizer of AFIRE shared her thoughts about the meeting: “ There are ongoing fears or anxieties that exist in our communities right now. But our community members are working together to provide support to those who are feeling isolated and dehumanized. That is why this dialogue is important, so that our communities know that we are doing what we can to protect each other during this difficult time.”
This effort to reach out to the Consulate General is part of AFIRE’s 100 Days of Pinay Power. AFIRE builds the capacity of its members to speak up for their rights and work towards collective liberation.
As a result of this meeting, the community leaders have signed a statement in which they have expressed commitment to resist any efforts that destroy families and communities, violate human rights, deprive access to services, and encourage racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, and other forms of intolerance.